I witnessed a spectacular dose of small-mindedness via Twitter
drive-by this morning. Someone (the name isn’t important) Twittered:
"seems like the Kitchener-Waterloo twitterers & bloggers are
different species – or have I just not discovered the cross-over people?"
When asked what that meant, she clarified:
"People who attend real life social networking activities locally
here in K-W. Tweetups vs. Blogger Fests."
When I suggested that this might be because of competition with events
such as StartupCamp/BarCamp and the like (140 characters does limit
lists), I received this response:
"for geeks, maybe. Bloggers I"ve met locally more literary, politically engaged. Nice mix."
So if you weren’t aware of it folks, if you’ve attended StartupCamp you
are a geek, and therefore by definition not literary or politically
I attend StartupCamp and BarCamp to help others get started. I also work
with startups – often for free – to help them in the same way others
have helped me. I also enjoy time spent at FoodForThought meetings; an
eclectic mix of people – even artists! – who like to discuss different
ideas and learn from each other. I write articles for The
Industry Standard. I’m an Optimist Club member; we do service work
to raise money to help children. Many bloggers write about politics. I’m
a member of the Waterloo Voter Support Committee; we run actual debates
with political candidates so that citizens can become more informed. My
friends would probably say I’m ridiculously politically engaged. I’ve
been on the board of the WCAC/Button Factory and a committee member of
Leadership Waterloo Region, and I also volunteer with several other
Perhaps I’m a geek, but I’m certainly one who gets involved in the
community. And I’m sure that many other geeks do, as do many other
"literary, politically engaged people".
Now ordinarily I wouldn’t waste my time with this. I don’t need to
justify myself to anyone. However, this person often purports to speak
on behalf of Open Text, a company I formerly worked with, and still hold
This person would be wise to realize that it is unreasonable to define
individuals based on one simple piece of information. She should also
realized that, since she works for a software company, she depends on
geeks for her livelihood. And in fact, many of her customers may also be
geeks. And clearly, so may her stockholders.
In fact, if not for geeks, there would be neither blogging nor Twitter.
After all, I’d hate to see her end up in an article like "What
Your Vendor’s Corporate Marketing Department Really Thinks About You".
Rash judgements are never a good idea. Especially when Google lasts forever.